HCMC prisons overloaded

Prisons and detention houses in Ho Chi Minh City have been downgraded and failed to meet minimum area per individual, the HCMC People's Procuracy reported on Nov.16 to the Legal Department of the law-making HCMC People's Council. Offenders of the prison in Thu Duc District in Ho Chi Minh City Photo: Tuoi Tre Offenders in the prisons of both levels of district and city have not had enough minimum area of two square meters each, according to the agency in charge of public prosecution. So, policies and regulations and other conditions for offenders have not been well observed. Recently, police of districts 2, 5, and Nha Be have had to send prisoners and offenders on remand to Chi Hoa Prison for the shortage of detention areas in the localities. The HCMC People's Procuracy proposed the People's Council and the People's Committee of HCMC and the Ministry of Public Security to spend investment for upgrading and building new prisons. According to the report … [Read more...]

Rach Chiec 2 bridge to be opened to traffic before Tet

Da Ban The bridge, whose name might be changed, was technically opened to traffic on December 29 last year. Vu Kien Thiet, director of Urban Traffic Management Unit No. 2 under the transport department, said the bridge is expected to be put into full use before January 30. The bridge is built in two phases, with a three-span steel arch bridge measuring 868 meters in length constructed in the first phase. The bridge consists of four lanes and costs VND871 trillion (over US$38.75 million). After the bridge is completed, motorcycles, passenger cars and vans under 3.5 tons are allowed to travel on the road section toward the bridge to reduce traffic density on Hanoi Highway and Mai Chi Tho Street. Trucks to Saigon Hi-Tech Park (SHTP) will move from Phu My Bridge to Rach Chiec 2 Bridge to enter the park. Another four-lane bridge will be built next to the existing bridge in phase two. Once completed, the bridge project will help develop Ring Road No. 2 into a complete road network … [Read more...]

Investors want legal framework for PPP improved

Van Nam Speaking at a dialogue on how to attract investment in HCMC via PPP in the city on January 26, Tran Van Thi, deputy general director of Cuu Long Corporation for Investment Development and Project Management of Infrastructure, said that for PPP, investors should be freed from the bureaucratic "ask-and-give" mechanism. Thi said a PPP project is usually carried out in tens of years, so its efficiency can only be ensured by mutual trust between investors and the State. He added that information about PPP projects should be made transparent. Tran Anh Tuan, acting director of the HCMC Institute for Development Studies, said the institute in collaboration with the municipal Department of Planning and Investment is drafting measures to woo investors to PPP projects, and will submit them to the city government for approval. Given the city’s tight budget, it is necessary to attract investment capital via PPP, so the "ask-and-give" mechanism, which requires investors to go … [Read more...]

SHTP touted as export driver

Quoc Hung Businesses at the park in District 9 posted total export revenue of nearly US$4.67 billion in 2015, jumping 49.3% from the previous year and beating the target by 16.7%. The figure made up 92% of the city’s total exports of electronic and hi-tech products, said Le Bich Loan, deputy head of the park’s authority. Last year, per capita labor productivity at SHTP reached US$196,000, or 9.8 times higher than at the city’s export processing zones and industrial zones. Meanwhile, material imports into SHTP amounted to over US$3.8 billion. The added value of export products made at SHTP went up by around 10% against three years ago but was still below the SHTP authority’s target. As most projects at SHTP turn out products for export, the park predicted that exports of its tenants would surge in the years to come when more major projects become operational. The US$2-billion electronics complex of South Korea’s Samsung Group is scheduled to begin … [Read more...]

Saigon Hi-Tech Park attracts investment capital

Chairwoman of the Ho Chi Minh City People's Council Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam and a delegation from the HCMC People’s Council worked with Saigon Hi-Tech Park (SHTP) management board on January 18. SHTP is a model of the country’s successive high technological zone. (Photo:SGGP) According to head of the Saigon Hi-Tech Park (SHTP) management board Le Hoai Quoc, the park attracted 28 projects with its total investment capital of US$ 1, 5 billion last year; especially, three projects of Sonio, United Healthcare and Samsung Company increased US$ 634, 5 million investment capital. At present, SHTP has issued investment certificates for 92 projects with total investment capital of US$ 5, 3 billion from top 10 most valuable technology brands in the world. Recently, investors have increased newly investment capital that affirmed sustainable development of SHTP. SHTP’s export turnover last year hit US$ 4, 66 billion, accounting for 20 percent of total export value … [Read more...]

City’s book street opened

The Ho Chi Minh City Book Street was officially kicked off at Nguyen Van Binh Street in district 1 on January 9. Chairman of the HCMC People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong (blue shirt) visits the book street. A 144 meter long section was placed 20 stalls featuring new books and magazines from domestic publishers. The organization of the book street aims to promote the reading habit as well as advertise best books and magazines of major domestic publishers and distributors such as Kim Dong Publishing House, Tre (Youth) Publishing House, Tong Hop (General) Publishing House and others. On the same day, a book fair and exhibition about literature works during the resistance war against France and America were opened at the street book festival. Attending in the inaugural ceremony were Deputy Standing Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee Vo Van Thuong, Chairman of the HCMC People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong, Deputy Secretary of HCMC Party Committee and … [Read more...]

HCMC kicks off special art program marking AEC’s establishment

A special art performance program in celebration of the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), a major milestone in the regional economic integration agenda in ASEAN took place at September 23 Park in Ho Chi Minh City on December 30. A special art program in celebration of the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC)(Photo:SGGP) The event was organized by Department of Ho Chi Minh City Culture and Sport. Attending in event were Deputy Secretary HCMC Party's Committee, Chairwoman of HCMC People’s Council Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam, representatives of departments and agencies, foreign affairs delegates and international organizations in Ho Chi Minh City. Speaking at the opening ceremony, Deputy Chairwoman of the HCMC People’s Committee Nguyen Thi Thu said: "Within 50 years of establishment and development of the ASEAN, Vietnam as well as Ho Chi Minh City has made positive contributions to the success of the ASEAN". Ho Chi Minh City is considered … [Read more...]

HCM City seeks investors for flood control projects

VietNamNet Bridge – HCMC is calling for private firms to implement flood control projects in public-private partnership (PPP) or build-transfer format as chronic flooding is taking its toll on the city. Several firms have shown interest in the flood control projects. Trung Nam Construction Investment Corp. has recently proposed executing a flood control project at a cost of nearly VND9.93 trillion (US$441 million). The city government has given the go-ahead to Trung Nam to further study the feasibility of the project that would benefit districts 1, 4, 7, 8, Binh Chanh and Nha Be. The project would build six big sluices, an eight-kilometer embankment along the Saigon River and 25 drainage systems. The city government expects the project will help reduce direct and indirect damages caused by flooding, and control rising flood tides in low-lying areas covering 570 square kilometers and having 6.5 million residents on the right bank of the Saigon River and the … [Read more...]

City to get tough on polluting factories

Van Nam Over the past 13 years, thousands of pollution-causing factories in HCMC have been relocated but the results have been lower than expected. With the scheme, the city government expects to relocate all facilities causing serious environmental pollution in residential areas to industrial parks. The city government is preparing plans to deal with polluting factories in 2015-2016 and will force the relocation of polluters in 2015-2016. After 2017, the city will inspect operational production facilities and those failing to meet requirements will have to move. Facilities required for relocation are active in fields such as dyeing, pulp, chemical manufacturing and trading, printing, metal coating, tanning, electroplating, cement, livestock and poultry slaughtering. Compulsory relocation will also be imposed on warehouses storing inflammable, explosive, radioactive or toxic substances, and livestock facilities harmful to human health. At the same time, the city will issue … [Read more...]

City seeks investors for flood control projects

Van Nam Trung Nam Construction Investment Corp. has recently proposed executing a flood control project at a cost of nearly VND9.93 trillion (US$441 million). The city government has given the go-ahead to Trung Nam to further study the feasibility of the project that would benefit districts 1, 4, 7, 8, Binh Chanh and Nha Be. The project would build six big sluices, an eight-kilometer embankment along the Saigon River and 25 drainage systems. The city government expects the project will help reduce direct and indirect damages caused by flooding, and control rising flood tides in low-lying areas covering 570 square kilometers and having 6.5 million residents on the right bank of the Saigon River and the downtown. Nonetheless, a recent report of the HCMC Department of Planning and Investment said a hindrance to the project is limited land used as a form of payment for the investor. If the project is implemented in the BT format, the investor would be allocated land worth around … [Read more...]

Lower fee sought for rice farms converted into residential sites

Manh Tung An apartment project is under development in HCMC. HoREA has proposed lowering the planned fee for converting rice land to residential sites - PHOTO: MANH TUNG The HCMC Department of Finance has sent the HCMC government a draft decision on fees for conversion of rice land into non-agricultural sites. It is waiting for approval from the HCMC People’s Council. This fee is new while other taxes and fees for changing land use purposes still exist. According to the draft, local and foreign organizations, households and individuals that receive land from the State for non-farming purposes are required to pay fees and charges in line with the current regulations plus a sum to protect and develop rice growing land. This sum depends on how the allocated land is used. If land is used to build houses for sale or rent, and provide services like trade, finance, restaurant, hotel and office, users would have to pay the full price of rice land, which is announced by the … [Read more...]

HCM City’ leaders visit naval forces

A delegation of Ho Chi Minh City high ranking officials led by Deputy Secretary of HCMC Party Committee and Chairwoman of HCMC People's Council Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam on December 16 visited High Command of Vietnam People's Navy in Ho Chi Minh City on the occasion of the 71st anniversary of the founding of the Viet Nam People's Army. Head of the city Party Committee's Commission for Organization, Vo Thi Dung visits Ho Chi Minh City Border Guards Headquarters. (Photo: Sggp) Ms. Tam sent greetings and congratulations to staff, employees, soldiers and military workers. She highly appreciated the position and the important role of the Vietnam People's Navy in protecting maritime and islands. The delegation also visited the Naval Region 2 Command of the Vietnam People's Navy. On the day, Head of the city Party Committee's Commission for Organization, Vo Thi Dung led a delegation of Ho Chi Minh City high ranking officials paid a visit to the Southern Border Guard High Command and Ho Chi … [Read more...]

HCMC has two new department directors

Van Nam Kien will assume the post of director of the Industry and Trade Department from January 1 when the appointment decision takes effect. The decision comes after the HCMC People’s Council elected Le Van Khoa, director of the Industry and Trade Department, vice chairman of the HCMC People’s Committee late last week. Kien served as chairman of District 1 People’s Committee before he took up the post of deputy director of the department in October this year. The department’s current deputy directors are Le Ngoc Dao, Phan Hoan Kiem, Nguyen Phuong Dong, Ton Quang Tri, Tran Vinh Nhung and Nguyen Ngoc Hoa. Meanwhile, Tran Xuan Dien, deputy director of the Industry and Trade Department, has been assigned as deputy secretary of District 10’s Party committee. Nguyen Toan Thang served as chairman of District 12 before being appointed deputy director of Department of Natural Resources and Environment in August this year. His new appointment comes into … [Read more...]

City to focus on economic restructuring, growth quality

Van Nam HCMC’s newly elected chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong (R) poses for photographs with his predecessor Le Hoang Quan at the closing session of the HCMC People’s Council late last week - PHOTOS: VAN NAM Phong catalogued the tasks for the forthcoming term of the city government at the closing session of the HCMC People’s Council late last week. More than 85% of the council’s deputies elected Phong, deputy secretary of the HCMC Party Committee, as chairman of the city last Friday, replacing Le Hoang Quan, who retires after a nine-year stint in the city government. Phong, 53, who is also a member of the Party Central Committee, was the first head of the Vietnamese Student Association’s HCMC branch in 1995 and then served as deputy secretary of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union in HCMC. He used to serve as secretary of the Party Committee of Ben Tre Province, his hometown, of the provincial Party Committee and chairman of the People’s … [Read more...]

Newly elected Ho Chi Minh City mayor promises to reduce flooding, congestion

Nguyen Thanh Phong, 53, has been voted to be chairman of HCMC People's Committee in 2016-2020. Photo: Diep Duc Minh Nguyen Thanh Phong, 53, currently serves as deputy chief of Ho Chi Minh City's Party unit, has been voted to become the new city chairman. Phong will replace Le Hoang Quan, 62, to head the People’s Committee in the 2016-2020 term. He said his priorities after taking office would be tackling flooding, traffic congestion, food hygiene, urban planning and bureaucracy. Phong promised to try his best to turn HCMC into a major economic, financial and cultural hub of the country and Southeast Asia. Quan, Phong’s predecessor, became the city mayor in 2006. He won a second five-year term in 2011. Quan sought to resign from his post and the HCMC People’s Council accepted his request. … [Read more...]

Heightened alert

Anh Thu The problem has existed for years but no drastic measures have been ironed out to kill it once for all. Administrative fines have been imposed on violators but millions of dong or dozens of millions of dong in fines is not enough to prevent infringements. Worries about food safety and hygiene were also voiced by deputies of the HCMC People’s Council at the council meeting on December 10. Consumers, especially in cities, have meat as a crucial part of their daily diets but barely do they know where meat they buy comes from. Similarly, even meat sellers at traditional wet markets are ignorant of the origin of meat. Thanh Nien quotes a woman who has been selling pork for the past 40 years at Thi Nghe wet market in HCMC’s Binh Thanh District as saying she has never asked where pork is from or who raises pigs. What she often does is to return pork that does not look good. Meat of unclear origin can be found everywhere. The only clue about the origin of meat is the … [Read more...]

HCM City has new chairman

Mr. Nguyen Thanh Phong, 53, member of the Central Party Committee and deputy secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee, has been elected chairman of the city People’s Committee. HCMC People's Committee chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong (Photo: SGGP) He won the election at the 20th session of the 8th HCMC People’s Council this morning to replace former chairman Le Hoang Quan who assumed the position for two terms starting 2006. Formerly, Mr. Phong from Ben Tre province was also re-elected deputy secretary of the HCMC Party Committee at its 10th congress in October. His two deputies are Mr. Le Van Khoa from Quang Nam province, member of the HCMC Party Committee's Standing Board and director of the Department of Industry and Trade, and Ms. Nguyen Thi Thu from Hai Phong city, chairwoman of the HCMC Labor Union and member of the presidium of the Vietnam General Confederation of Labor. Five members of the HCMC People’s Committee comprise committee office chief Vo Van … [Read more...]

HCMC has new chairman

Mr. Nguyen Thanh Phong, 53, member of the Central Party Committee and deputy secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee, has been elected chairman of the city People’s Committee. HCMC People's Committee chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong (Photo: SGGP) He won the election at the 20th session of the 8th HCMC People’s Council this morning to replace former chairman Le Hoang Quan who assumed the position for two terms starting 2006. Formerly, Mr. Phong from Ben Tre province was also re-elected deputy secretary of the HCMC Party Committee at its 10th congress in October. His two deputies are Mr. Le Van Khoa from Quang Nam province, member of the HCMC Party Committee's Standing Board and director of the Department of Industry and Trade, and Ms. Nguyen Thi Thu from Hai Phong city, chairwoman of the HCMC Labor Union and member of the presidium of the Vietnam General Confederation of Labor. Five members of the HCMC People’s Committee comprise committee office chief Vo Van … [Read more...]

City urged to indentify challenges, seize opportunities

Van Nam Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam told the council’s 20th ongoing meeting on December 9 that it is important to actively indentify and grasp opportunities. To maintain high economic growth, the city needs to not only adopt right policies but also figure out hindrances to the city’s growth and the competitiveness of local enterprises. Tam urged the HCMC government to thoroughly analyze such hindrances. Deputy Thai Tuan Chi said the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact will be a great chance for Vietnam in general and HCMC in particular to boost exports. The city government should offer incentives to woo more foreign investors in the fields using high technology and reward local enterprises which have invested heavily in research and development. Apparel exports are forecast to jump after the TPP takes effect. Therefore, Chi asked the city government to set up a material center for the sector to bank on the opportunity. According to deputies of the council, most … [Read more...]

Domestic collections key to HCMC budget next year

Van Nam Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam, chairwoman of the HCMC People’s Council, speaks at the opening session of the council’s meeting on December 8 - PHOTO: VAN NAM Pham Van Dong, head of the Economic and Budgetary Committee of the HCMC People’s Council, said on day one of the council meeting on December 8 that revenues from domestic sources, import-export operations and crude oil are estimated to account for 59.54%, 34.36% and 6.1% of the city’s budget collections in 2016 respectively. Dong also pointed out a number of challenges for budget collections. For instance, the city is tasked with collecting VND13.4 trillion in land use fees next year but a mere VND6.5 trillion could be collected at best. Vietnam will have to cut a lot of tariffs in line with its commitments to bilateral and multilateral trade agreements, so it is hard for the city to achieve the tax and fee revenue target for exports and imports. Therefore, the city will have to increase … [Read more...]